Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XII Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1960
    Reference No: 1016
    Movement No: 32'581
    Case No: 516'584
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1680, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex oyster expandable bracelet stamped "280" to the endlinks, max length 215mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped "2 55"
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by original Rolex International Service Guarantee, service documents Rolex Greece and fitted presentation box

  • Catalogue Essay

    On May 29 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest. Both gentlemen wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual wristwatch during this endeavour. The pieces were designed by Rolex to withstand the extreme conditions encountered during the ascent, and are effectively the prototypes of one of Rolex’s most beloved models: the Explorer.

    In the fifties, six different Explorer references were launched, but it is reference 1016, launched at the end of the decade, that is now considered the most classic vintage incarnation of the Explorer. In production for over 20 years, the model features several aesthetic and mechanical variations. The present specimen is a representative of the highly coveted “glossy dial” category, and furthermore features an exceedingly well-preserved dial, without any mark or scratch whatsoever.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Ref. 1016
A rare and very attractive stainless steel automatic wristwatch with center seconds, black lacquer dial and bracelet

Circa 1960
36mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for CHF22,680

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XII

Geneva Auction 6 - 7 November 2020